What Type of Skin do you have?
When you're browsing the skincare section do you really know which category you fit into?
Do you choose your skincare based off of a facial you had 2 years ago when your therapist told you you had dry skin?
Did you know your skin is changing all the time and this might not still be true for you?
There's so many different categories to choose from and lots of people get a bit bamboozled by all the choices. So let's break it down and explain exactly what they all mean and how you can diagnose your own skin.
The first thing you need to do is double cleanse your face and leave it to dry naturally with NO products on at all. Leave your skin for an hour and then stand yourself in front of a well lit mirror. Leaving your skin for an hour means that you get a true representation of the natural oils your skin is (or isn't!) producing and not residue from your products.
There are 4 main skin types; Normal, Dry, Oily and Combination.
If you have dry skin it will look matte and feel dry to the touch. But remember, just because you have dry skin in one area of your face, it doesn't mean you have dry skin all over. So take a really close look. Dry skin is caused by your sebaceous glands not producing enough oil.
If you have oily skin you will have a sheen to your face and it will feel slippery to the touch, your pores will typically be slightly larger. Again, remember to check your whole face. Do you have oily skin or patches of oily skin?
If you have normal skin it won't feel too dry or too oily (I know how obvious that sounds - sorry!), your pores should be about the size of a pinprick and often you will have a slight shimmer (but not feeling oily). Again, check your whole face, is all your skin normal or are there patches of dry or oily skin in there?
I often find this is the skin type people get most confused about. Combination skin is a mix of either Dry & Normal skin or Normal & Oily skin. Does your pore size vary on different parts of your face? Is it bigger on your nose than your cheeks? Do you have patches of skin that look very matte compared to the rest of your skin? Take a really close look, examine your face under a good light. More people have combination skin than they realise.
Although these are the four main skin types there are three more skin conditions that I want to talk about, that often get mistaken for 'skin types'.
Skin dehydration is exactly what it sounds like, your skin is dehydrated, it needs water. So many people mistake dehydrated skin for dry skin. Dry skin is lacking oil - dehydrated skin is lacking water. Pinch the skin on your cheek between your fingers and have a close look. Are there small crease lines? If so this is caused by dehydration. A lot of people suffer with dehydrated skin to some level, very few people drink enough water to stay properly hydrated (obviously I couldn't possibly put myself into that group..!) Dehydrated skin will feel taught and can often be a bit itchy. Lines in the face are more pronounced and look deeper when the skin is dehydrated - so pick up that water bottle! Your skin is more sensitive when it is dehydrated because the barrier has been damaged so try not to irritate your skin any further. But there is good news! If you start drinking more water and adapt your skincare routine it takes approximately 2 weeks to rehydrate your skin.
Sensitive skin is something that you are born with unfortunately and is classed as a chronic irritation (if you're in isolation with your partner at the moment you will know what chronic irritation feels like..!) You are much more susceptible to reactions and you have to be more cautious with products. There is unfortunately nothing that can be done to stop sensitive skin, it is a genetic factor.
Lots of people get confused about sensitised skin so I will try and explain it as simply as possible. Sensitised skin isn't something you are born with, it is caused by lifestyle factors and I will list the most common examples.
- Drastic temperature fluctuations in the skin like coming in from the cold to somewhere really warm.
- Overusing skincare products
- Hot showers or using hot water in your skincare routine
- Over exfoliation
- Using products with harsh chemicals such as over perfumed skincare or skincare high in alcohol.
And the MOST common cause? Using make up wipes! Make up or baby wipes cause the skin so much irritation and damage, you are better off not removing your make up at all than using make up wipes. If your skin is sensitised you will often find that you suffer from redness, spots and sometimes itchy and raised skin. If after reading this you have realised that a product is causing your skin to become sensitised cut it out. If you aren't sure which product(s) it is, take your skincare back to basics and gradually build it up again.
Just remember, you skin is changing all the time. Your skin regenerates every (averagely) 27 days. Give your skin a diagnosis now but remember to check again in 2 months time and adjust your skincare accordingly.
Share your skin type tips and advice for every to enjoy!
Remember - It's Ok Not To Feel Ok